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Book 5 – Low Carb Performance

For those of you who have heard of the Ketogenic Diet, this is a great book.

The diet involves reducing your carbohydrate intake to the point where your body becomes “fat adapted” and burns more fat as fuel. This is a nutritional strategy employed by a lot of triathletes and ultra-marathon runners, as you can fuel your body in a more sustained way.

It’s also an option for dieters (if they can handle it!)

My fifth recommended read is…

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Jeff Volek

PRO TIP: Take notes! When you read a book, use a blank sheet of paper as a bookmark and write down any interesting facts and information from the book. You won’t remember everything a year from now, so this condenses a whole book into 3-4 pages of key notes that are important to you.

Some of my notes:

  • Exercise doesn’t improve resting metabolism that much, more important that obese people diet

  • To preserve unsaturated fatty acids, consume adequate Omega 3 HUFA, eat enough natural meat, fish and veg, take vitamin E in gamma form (not alpha-tocopherol) and avoid iron supplements (even a daily multi-vitamin)

  • Keto diet typically below 50 grams/day of carbs

  • Fast digested carbs are counter-productive post-exercise

  • Replace carbs with fat, not protein

  • Danger zone between 50 and 150 grams carbs where insufficient supply of carbs for brain but too high to keto adapt. For that reason best to jump in to v.low carb diet. Middle zone will result in protein burning and an eventual binge of carbs

  • Use broth/bouillon for sodium, low carb veg for potassium

  • 5-10g of carbs from each of protein, nuts/seeds, fruits, misc. and 10-15g from veg

  • Avoid potatoes, corn, carrots, beans, peas, fruit juices

  • Eat broccoli, cucumber, cauliflower, aubergine, green beans, kale, mushroom, onions, peppers, spinach, courgette

  • Nuts & seeds limit to 50g

  • 100g limit of berries, tomatoes, olives or avocado

  • 0.6 to 1g/lb LBM in protein

  • Emphasize mono-unsaturated and saturated fat as fuel

  • Balance intake of omega 3 & 6

  • Subcutaneous adipose tissue is ~55% mono, 18% poly, 27% Saturated

  • Most American diets have 10x Omega 6, interferes with ratio

  • Ratio of poly, mono, sat on page 76-77

  • Omega 3 rich eggs are good

  • A high carb diet locks a person in to relying on carbs for performance

  • Low carb diets are anti-inflammatory, producing less oxidative stress, accelerate the use of saturated fat as fuel

  • Body stores of fuel: carbs 2k cals, fat 40k cals

  • Using carb as fuel inhibits fat mobilisation & utilisation (for days after, not just hours)

  • Keto-adaptation means to use fat efficiently, process involves conversion of fat to ketones in the liver, which supply the brain with fuel when glucose level falls

  • Glycogen storage capacity 400-500g (700g if muscular and eat high carb diet)

  • Also requires several grams of water per glycogen gram

  • If insulin levels are high, fat usage is low

  • Need 2-3 weeks of low insulin to keto adapt

  • “Fat burning zone” related to % contribution of carb/fat

  • High variability in subjects, between 10g and 6g fat burned/hour. Peak burning ranged from 25 to 77% VO2max.

  • Dogs have more albumin in body to transport more fatty acids

  • Keto-adapted athletes can still make gains via resistance training in week of <10g carb, 1.75g/kg protein, rest fat led to 90g/hr fat burning with similar performance output to before

  • The brain can only function on glucose or ketones

  • Keto adapt spares protein so preserves lean tissue, decreases lactate, better pH, not only improves endurance also strength/power & cognition

  • Bonking is when muscle and liver glycogen reserves are low, muscles and brain compete for sparse fuel

  • Keto diet increased BCAA in body

  • Too much protein has anti-keto effect

  • Keto adaptation increases lactate threshold

  • Low carb diets increase loss of sodium and water by kidneys

  • Failure to replace results in fatigue, headache, loss of lean mass

  • Most muscle cramps due to muscle depletion

  • 1-2g sodium per day more, 1g 30 mins pre WO

  • If you boil meat or veg it loses potassium, steam or saute

  • 250m water 5 mins pre WO

  • Magnesium to avoid cramps

  • Intense exercise, tiredness or lack of fuel causes twitching/cramps

  • Range of ketosis 30-100g per day or less

  • Avoid alanine after exercise (or at all on keto)

  • Page 100 food list, 101-120 recipes